Deep-diving into e-commerce to fulfill warehouse, POSs, and delivery processes
Garotas is a leader in wholesale stationery in their market. Their sales channels extend from physical locations to phone sales and an e-commerce website. They offer over 5,000 products in a variety of categories and have developed a large and loyal customer base over the years.
One might assume they had everything in place to be wildly successful, but significant problems prevented them from scaling their business to match growing demand.
Before our involvement, their sales channels weren’t synchronized well. This made it hard to automate fulfillment processes, leading to shipping delays, frenzied warehouse workers, and upset customers. The bulk of their orders came from their physical locations, but because of extended fulfillment times, orders weren’t available for immediate pickup.
In many ways, their achievements were weighing them down, and the more successful they became, the harder their business was to maintain. They knew that if they didn’t do something soon to rectify the situation, they risked alienating customers and harming their business.
After weighing several firms, Garotas chose Kadabra IT because of our deep expertise in Magento, a full-featured e-commerce platform. They didn’t know it yet, but we were about to radically reenvision their business and bring it fully into the modern age.
But first, we had to analyze the company’s current situation.
The company had all the elements they needed to build a vibrant business, but they couldn’t seem to align them. Their e-commerce site allowed purchases, but it wasn’t connected to their accounting, warehousing, or stocking systems. When orders came in, there wasn’t a systematic procedure for fulfillment.
Their phone and retail channels were equally undeveloped. Salespeople had no way to enter orders digitally at the point of sale. Instead, they were written down on paper and entered into the system later. This manual data entry slowed down fulfillment, a process that could take 12 hours or more.
All of that said, the company’s sales channel shortcomings were problematic, but generally manageable most of the year. However, twice annually, business spiked dramatically. During these busy seasons, their sales infrastructure was completely overwhelmed.
Sales came in at such a frenetic pace that orders were lost, and their pipeline overflowed. Their packing and shipping logistics couldn’t keep up, causing extended delays. In many cases, packages took up to 45 days to be shipped. On at least one occasion, this caused a complete collapse at their main points of sale. Customers were understandably upset, leading to cancelations and lost business.
During our analysis, we realized that Garotas’s problems were systemic. Their various points of sale couldn’t communicate effectively. Each dipped a foot into modern retail processes, but never managed to get into the pool. It was as if three different companies were tripping over each other, trying to access the same resources.
They needed a single system that integrated orders, processing, fulfillment, and shipping across all three sales channels. Additionally, they needed to model their physical logistics off of this new system to meet demand efficiently. They needed Magento, and they needed it badly.
We moved to implement a full restructure of their sales systems, starting with their e-commerce site. Along with a more user-friendly design, we built out a modernized architecture using Magento, integrating it with the company’s ERP. This enabled considerable automation between the sales portal and its back-office systems.
We were able to systematize the synchronization of their full 5,000 product catalog and automate the transmission of sales from the website to their ERP accounting system.
Simultaneously, we added point of sale functionality to the website so that employees taking the phone and in-person orders could immediately enter them instead of writing them down first. This reduced translation errors and dramatically sped up the sales process.
These optimizations led to daily sales increases of more than 120%, an exciting prospect for any company. However, this increased demand applied extra pressure on their already strained fulfillment process.
To remedy that end of the equation, we closely analyzed their warehousing and shipping processes and developed an optimized solution, which we modeled in Magento.
We created a Magento fulfillment process and defined new roles within the company to execute the design. Employees were designated as Package Coordinators, Package Assemblers, and Package Controllers.
Coordinators received orders from the Magento system and prioritized them, issuing assembly instructions. Assemblers used these optimized instructions to efficiently pull multiple orders in one trip around the warehouse. These were delivered to controllers that verified package contents and prepared them for shipping.
Using Magento to optimize order processing led to impressive gains in fulfillment productivity. Not only was Garotas able to handle the increased daily activity that our news sales structures made possible, but they also sailed through their first busy season without a hiccup.
Before our involvement, their physical locations were their primary points of sale. Today, 60% of their sales come from their e-commerce presence. Both online and offline sales are handled with Magento, leading to a consistent customer experience and a painless fulfillment process for staff members.
Since the roll-out, sales have continued to climb, and our system has more than kept pace. The shift toward greater online sales relieved pressure on physical locations, creating a more sustainable balance between the various channels.
Garotas was thrilled with the results. They now had the infrastructure they needed to scale their business without being overwhelmed by it. They found our implementation to be easy to use and perfectly tailored to their needs.
“Kadabra IT’s experience, reliability, and attention to detail are unparalleled,” they said. “They had the expertise we needed to get the job done right.” Their confidence has been buoyed, and they feel certain businesses will flourish in the years ahead. We couldn’t be more excited for them.